Day 4 – Medan to Singapore
Finally, this was the day to catch our flight home. It was still early when we got up. After pulling away the curtains, it was a little late to take pictures of sunrise behind Centre Point Mall. Medan City had already awakened. Anyway, we had taken nice sunrise pictures from this hotel last year so there was no disappointment. As we had to be at the train station by 7.45 am to purchase train tickets to catch the 8 am train, we went to the restaurant for breakfast.
We thought we were early at 6.30 am but quite a number of guests were already at the restaurant. We found ourselves a table and started to get our food from different stations. The buffet spread was pretty good.
I went to the outdoor section to collect dim sum items and omelets. I then took more food at other stations in the restaurant. Coffee was served and so we began our hearty breakfast for the morning. The food was delicious.
We went another round to get more food and fresh fruits and fruit juice as well. After a sumptuous breakfast, we quickly made our way back to our room.
With final packing done and got ourselves refreshed after our heavy meal, we took our bags and went to the lobby. It was near to 7.30 am and check out didn’t take very long.
Having settled our bills, we went to concierge to wait for the shuttle service to the Airport Railink Station we had already requested the night before. This was one of the main reasons why we chose to stay at Grand Aston City Hall Hotel.
In about 5 minutes, the vehicle came and we got in and were soon on our way to the train station. In another 5 minutes, we arrived at the train station. After thanking the driver, we went into the station to purchase the train tickets.
Before the information and ticketing counter, was the d’Prima Hotel next to a staircase for guests who wished to stay right at the train station. This wasn’t a bad idea as Centre Point Mall would be next door after the railway track and across the stadium would be Merdeka Walk. This would be a very convenient location for those who are budget conscious and prefer to use the train between the airport and Medan City.
After paying 200,000 IDR and collecting our tickets, we didn’t have to wait long before we were requested to proceed to the train platform to board the waiting train. We had to walk through an overhead bridge to the other side of the train platform.
There were not too many passengers in the morning and the train was modern and clean. The windows on this train were not covered with maze solar film so we could have a clear view of the outside of the train.
At 8 am sharp, the train left the station. The first stretch of the journey was a little slow passing through the busy part of Medan City. We passed road junctions where vehicles had stopped to allow the train to pass. Slowly, bad conditions of houses along the railway tracks at the outskirts of the Medan could be seen.
Once out of the city, the scenery changed to agricultural landscape with workers working on the fields. Farm houses were seen in the distance. These houses looked much better than those dilapidated houses along the railway tracks at the outskirts of Medan City.
There were some tracks upgrading works going on along the way. Construction works along a muddy river was another scene before getting nearer to the airport. It was then back to scenery of green fields again.
Soon we were approaching Kuala Namu International Airport. The landscaping done here was more welcoming and looked a lot prettier than the other scenery along the way. Eventually, the train entered the Airport Station and everyone disembarked and walked in the direction of the airport.
We headed up a flight of travellator and this soon brought us to the level of the departure hall of the airport. The airport wasn’t crowded but at Jetstar counters, long queues were formed. This was to be expected as the flight would be full with passengers like us joining this flight after our flight for the previous day was cancelled at the last minutes.
So we joined the queue and so happened that the five young German backpackers were in front of us. So we talked while waiting for our turns to collect our boarding pass. We found out they were going to stay in an apartment booked via Airbnb and the location happened to be in Geylang, a red light district. So we gave them some information on that area and a little advice on what to do while holidaying in Singapore.
Soon these young people were called to the counter to collect their boarding passes and they seem unaware they had to pay 200,000 IDR each for airport tax. After these young people had checked in their luggage and collected their boarding passes, it was our turn to be served. We were asked if we would like to have the front seat and of course we were delighted. Having paid our airport taxes and collected our boarding passes, we made our way into the secured area of the terminal building.
Since we were still early, we roamed the airport and checked what the airport had to offer. The airport although not very big was quite new and very clean. The facilities were up to date. This modern airport was quite pleasant and pleasing to hang around before flight. The Blue Sky Executive Lounge seemed to be quite popular. It wasn’t expensive to use the lounge as well.
Next to the lounge was a playground for kids. A café was also available for those not using the lounge.
There were other shops selling clothes and snacks and even a foot reflexology shop available too. There was also a shop selling computers and IT products as well.
After resting for a while, we approached custom and immigration for clearance and soon were through to the holding room. The Jetstar plane had already arrived from Singapore. Passengers were disembarking.
When the plane was cleaned and ready, we were invited to board the plane. Since this was a full flight, it took quite a while for all the passengers to board the plane. Those passengers who came later could not bring their hand carry luggage on board as all the overhead lockers were already full. However, they were offered to have their luggage checked in for free.
After all the chaos and with at least one passenger unhappy about not being able to store her luggage on the overhead locker who later relented to allow her hand carry luggage to be checked in, we finally left the airport. The flight was delayed for nearly 30 minutes because of the crowd of passengers on this flight. Nevertheless, the flight crew did a marvelous job under pressure and we were eventually airborne.
The flight took just an hour and these hard working crews worked tirelessly, efficiently and professionally during flight. As we were sitting in the front row, we could see how these wonderful crews worked during the flight. There wasn’t a moment they were idling other than the time they were required to fasten their seat belts during take off and landing.
We had an enjoyable flight and soon we touched down at Changi Airport. We went to Killiney Café for a quick bite before clearing immigration. Cafés, restaurants and food court in the public area would be crowded during lunch time. After our quick meal, we walked towards the immigration counters and found some of the German backpackers waiting for their friends. After exchanging a few words and wishing them well, we left them and cleared immigration.
Soon we reached the taxi stand and very quickly we got into a cab and were on our way home. It was supposed to be a very short weekend break. But with the loss of my credit cards and then found again on the first day and with our flight cancelled the previous day, we ended having an extended holiday. Little did we expect such an adventure.
Our travel insurance claims came up to be S$400 each which would pretty much cover the entire weekend break for us this time. Flight cancellation was a little inconvenient as we had to make some adjustment to work arrangements. Nevertheless, this short break was fruitful even though having to deal with loss of credit cards was not very pleasant. Anyway, having checked with the banks, there wasn’t any unauthorized transaction in which we were glad.
So our next weekend break to Jakarta would be coming up next month. Hopefully, there wouldn’t be any untoward incident.